Martinsville is a city in Morgan County, Indiana, United States. The population was 11,698 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Morgan County. Geographically it is located in south central Indiana. Martinsville is easily accessed by State Roads 37, 39, 252, 44, and 67. Nearby towns include Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Nashville. The White River runs along the north edge of Martinsville.
From 1888 until 1968 visitors sought out the many artesian mineral water heath spas (called sanitariums then) of Martinsville for health benefits. Over the course of nearly 100 years, almost a dozen sanitariums were in operation for various periods of time, including the first black spa in Martinsville.
Visitors would travel by rail and road to bathe and refresh in the mineral springs and waters. Many luminaries visited Martinsville in the early 20th century to enjoy the mineral waters and spas for their perceived therapeutic and health restoring qualities. ( Photographs of the sanitariums.) On top of what used to be the National Sanitarium a refurbished neon sign still displays "Martinsville City of Mineral Water " as it did so many years ago.
In 1892 the Old Hickory Furniture Company was formed. The Morgan County Public Library’s Digital Archive has a collection of photographs of Old Hickory furniture including some displays for Marshall Field & Co.
On the night of Sept. 16, 1968, Carol Jenkins , a 21-year-old black woman, was murdered in Martinsville. Many assumed the murderer was a local person. Martinsville endured charges of a cover up, racial hatred, and accusations for the 34 years her murder remained unsolved.
In 2002 it was discovered that a Hendricks County man and his acquaintance were passing through Martinsville in 1968, saw Ms. Jenkins, and murdered her. This man was connected to the Ku Klux Klan, but not connected to Martinsville in any way. Since the man was just passing though Martinsville the randomness of the murder made it nearly impossible for law enforcement to solve the case.
The break the police needed to solve the case came when the man’s seven-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat of the car and witnessed the murder, grew up and stepped forward to tell what really happened that night.
There were 4,621 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,746, and the median income for a family was $40,304. Males had a median income of $31,215 versus $22,090 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,664. About 8.7% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.